VARSITY ADMISSIONS AN EDUCATION BLOG

Make Your Own Scholarship

            Some students, overcoming the rising costs of college, have successfully created their own scholarships, recruiting donors through websites and other platforms, according to an article in The US News & World Report.

            These students are creating personal social networking pages through Myspace and Facebook, asking potential donors for financial support. Not many students have received significant donations through these methods. But, The US News and World Report published eight tips that can help you create your own scholarship through donors, contacting many students who have received large donations through these methods.

1. Select the right Web site: There are many scholarship building sites that link students with potential donors, such as Greennote.com, Scholarmatch.com, and Sponsormydegree.com. Some students have had success using social networking sites as well.

2. Upload photos: It may seem mildly creepy, but uploading photos will give your site a more personal feel. Donors will have a more meaningful understanding of who you are as a student. Students who upload photos are more likely receive donations than those who don’t, according to Henner Mohr, founder of Sponsormydegree.com

3. Write clearly and use details: Don’t make it hard for your donors to understand who you are and why they should donate to you. There are thousands of other students who will be asking for money. You need to stand out, clear writing and lots of details can help. “Kids who write vividly stick in your mind," Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What, and one of the founders of Scholarmatch.org.

4. Proofread meticulously: Would you donate to someone who doesn’t know the difference between their and there or its and it’s? Your potential donors would probably have the same sentiment. Have one of your English teachers proofread your Web site before you upload it. They would probably be able to find errors you missed. A clean, well-written Web site can only increase your chances.

5. Put yourself in their place: Think like your donors might. What would you want to see, if you were them? Tell an honest story about yourself, including your hobbies, but only the constructive ones. If your favorite past time is sleeping in late, then maybe write about how you love to play guitar or something else constructive.

6. Promote your site: Tell everyone you know, friends, family, teachers, etc about your site.  Call local news reporters and journalists. Get the word out, and your site will become more accessed, which can increase your chances of receiving donations.  Your friends might post your site on their Facebook/Twitter accounts too.

7. Update your site: Continuously post new accolades and high grades you receive. You don’t want to have all your achievements to be from grade school. It’s much better to use your most recent accolades.

8. Be thankful and give back: Thank your donors for their time and consideration. Also, thank them in advance for their donations. Some students have acquired donations by promising to also donate once they start earning income. You could also link to a charity, stating a certain percentage of donations will go to that charity.